Last week we asked our Mamacita Cubana what she would like to eat, stipulating that it could not be something we had eaten before - we wanted a culinary adventure. She said she wanted a frita. We asked her, "Fried what?"
She set us straight that a frita is like a miniature meatloaf slider. She said that when she was growing up in Santiago de Cuba, street vendors often sold these little burgers to hungry couples out for a stroll in the park or families catching a game of baseball.
Intrigued, we quickly set out to perfect the recipe. After several variations, she gave her approval to the following concoction. And by approval, we mean she ate the whole plate.
Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and add the milk - set aside. Using a food processor, add the onion and pulse until it is finely chopped. Add the meat, egg, paprika, salt, pepper and bread crumb mixture. Pulse until the whole thing is combined well.
Form the meat mixture into 12 small patties. Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add a touch of oil. Fry the meat until browned on each side and cooked through.
Place the burgers on the buns and top with the shoestring potatoes. Add cheese, pickles, or whatever condiments you like.